In May 2019, Société Bic S.A. (Euronext: BB) released its inaugural Lighter Safety Report bringing attention to a concerning influx of low-quality lighter imports into the United States. The report further highlights the lack of education about lighter safety among consumers, creating an urgent need to promote the same. The import of low-quality lighters coupled with a lack of lighter safety education, could potentially lead to serious fires, property damages or injuries, threatening consumers’ safety, which the company aims to prevent. BIC, being a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, provides high-quality, affordable products, meeting consumer demand for safe and reliable products.
The global cigarette lighter market is being driven by the increasing number of tobacco consumers globally, and the rising disposable income, particularly in the emerging economies. The global cigarette lighter market reached a value of around USD 5629 million in 2019. It is further projected to grow at a CAGR of 1.9% between 2020 and 2025 to reach a value of USD 6308 million by 2025. The rising eco-consciousness among the consumers is likely to drive the growth of the refillable cigarette lighter segment, especially in the developed countries like the U.S., which will drive the growth of global cigarette lighter industry in the future.
BIC, in their report, revealed that 70% of lighter models tested in the U.S. did not meet the safety standards issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS) and ASTM International. In 1994, the CPSC, with the support of BIC, mandated that all lighters sold in the U.S. have enhanced child-resistant features like BIC’s, aiming to reduce the risk of children accidentally starting fires with lighters. In addition to this, voluntary lighter safety standards consistent with specifications have been established in many other parts of the world by ASTM International, one of the world’s largest standards-developing organisations. The lighters manufactured by BIC undergoes over 50 separate, automatic, quality checks, however, low-quality lighter imports into the United States may not meet the ASTM Safety Standards, which could result in a lighter malfunctioning and may cause an accident. This lighter safety report will allow fire safety educators to spot information gaps among parents and children and further prevent fires and unsafe behaviour among children.
The company conducted a survey in the United States and found that around 77% of the Americans do not realize that it is mandatory to meet the aforementioned safety standards, aside from having a child-resistant feature, for the lighters sold in the U.S. Further, 81% of Americans don’t know that most pocket lighters that are sold in the U.S. are not tested extensively for safety. While 68% of parents have taught their children about fire safety, only 48% of them have taught their children about pocket lighter safety. It was further revealed that only 41% of parents have taught their children not to touch a lighter, if they find one, and inform an adult about it.
The report further provides some recommendations on lighter safety, which are as follows:
The report intends to educate consumers on the potential dangers of low-quality lighters, particularly aiming to create awareness among parents of young children. Using good quality lighters, that meet the established safety rules is a prerequisite for consumers to protect themselves as well as their families and others around them. Keeping these guidelines in mind, when purchasing, using, or storing lighters, would help consumers ensure their safety.
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